New & Notable

Published in CSP Daily News

Suppliers open their R&D curtains for FMI Show

CHICAGO -- FMI Show has always been the preeminent place to unveil new products. And while some say the show is not what it used to be in terms of the number of retailer attendees, the 2005 show held in Chicago this week still offered the first opportunities to sample and learn about products such as Pepsi Lime and PowerAde Option, a lower-calorie variation on Coca-Cola's PowerAde sports drink.

While not all the products introduced at the Food Marketing Institute's FMI Show were new, the showalong with its neighboring expositions, the Fancy Food Show, [image-nocss] U.S. Food Export Showcase, Produce Expo & Conference and All Things Organiccertainly set the tone for the direction of things to come in the grocery industry.

Covering the five show floors in three days was not easy, but obvious trends toward convenience (Ready Pac's Aqua Pac line of car-beverage-holder-ready, 6-oz. containers of apple slices and carrot and celery sticks), healthier products (Kraft's complete line of South Beach Diet products) and flavor (Pepsi Lime, along with a bevy of Asian-, Hispanic- and African-inspired food products) were readily accessible.

With apologies to those we missed, here are some of the standout new products, line extensions and reinventions from the FMI Show floor that will likely make an appearance in convenience stores in the not-too-distant future, if they haven't already

SNACKS & CANDY

Hershey's Cookies. Four familiar candy flavorsYork, Almond Joy, Hershey's With Almonds and Reese'snow available in cookie form. Nestle Butterfinger Crisp King Size Bar. Layers of crispy wafers with Butterfinger candy cr ame. Oberto Sausage Co.'s Beef Jerky Crisps. Available in three flavors, this new, oven-roasted take on beef jerky is crisp and crunchy like a chip. Poore Brothers' Friday's Meat Snacks. Three flavors of steak and chicken meat snacks bearing the sit-down restaurant's brand name. Wrigley Co.'s Orbit Sweet Mint. A combination of vanilla and cr ame de menthe with the just brushed clean feeling of Orbit gum.

BEVERAGES

Coca-Cola Zero. A full-flavored regular Coke with zero calories. Don't call it diet. Gatorade Endurance Formula. A specialized sports drink with a five-electrolyte blend. Available in three flavors. Woman on Top's Slimmer You H2O. Bottled water with added weight-loss ingredients.

GROCERY

Betty Crocker Warm Delights. Cake mixes that come in a bowl; just add water, mix, squeeze on fudge from a pouch and cook in a microwave oven for about 1 minute. Campbell's Select Gold Label. A line of superpremium soups packaged in cartons. Flavors include Golden Butternut Squash and Creamy Portobello Mushroom. Cereal Toppers. 100% natural fruit packaged in a resealable bag and ready for use on cereal and yogurt or as a desert of salad. Kraft Food's Boca Chili and Chicken Sandwiches. Homestyle chili and straight-from-the-fast-food-joint chicken sandwiches with a meatless twist. Unilever's Dove Hand & Body Wash. The HBC giant continues to expand on the brand name that used to mean bar soap with a hand and body moisturizer.